Why won’t the Town Board read written comments at public hearings? Neither my letter nor the excellent analysis of the Group for the East End were heard during the important scoping session for the Concern for Independent Living proposal for gridlocked County Road 39.
The traffic impact on County Road 39, increased density, and the consequences for the environment, and residential streets stemming from this project must be fully vetted in the draft environmental impact statement. County Road 39 cannot be considered in isolation or as separate from the Village of Southampton, which it increasingly impacts. The density of this development will increase traffic, burden the village immeasurably, and impact the peace and quiet and quality of life residents expect us to secure.
As both a public official and a resident of Hill Street, I experience daily the dangerous traffic racing from County Road 39 to Hill Street along quiet village streets. I have worried, along with village residents, about safety and the number of serious and fatal accidents. The village also wishes to reduce any traffic burden on Hillcrest Terrace. The DEIS must address all these concerns, as well as provide other means of ingress and egress to the site.
Many studies have been done, at considerable public expense, urging strongly that there be no more development on County Road 39, with traffic calming a minimum; this complex project ignores most of those recommendations. Existing traffic must be studied and reevaluated. The DEIS should reflect real and current traffic problems and changing conditions, not data compiled during the height of the pandemic.
Village resources such as the fire department, EMS and police will be greatly strained by this 60-unit development, as they would be the first to respond to emergencies or complaints. During COVID, the village’s emergency services have been overburdened.
For these reasons and many others, I implore the board to reconsider this project and instruct the DEIS to explore other sites that might be less harmful — or, alternatively, for it to be drastically scaled back and reconfigured to fit into our community.
It is also troubling that the applicant and the town are not analyzing the entire site but only half of it. A segmented review must be avoided. Much more substantive information must be provided concerning the proposed subdivision of the site into two lots and the possible future commercial development and uses on one of them, the claims of “hardship” that could ensue, as well as compatibility with the residential portion of the site and the surrounding neighborhood.
The village also has concerns that the information about gates, security guards and an “auxiliary” building is extremely vague. This should be fully detailed in the DEIS.
Joseph R. McLoughlin
One fine body…